Four-year courses are to be cherished

10th March 2000 at 00:00
I AM currently undertaking a four-year undergraduate course training to be a secondary mathematics teacher.

I am sure many people are aware of the current funding shortage for undergraduate courses when compared to postgraduate.

Not only do postgraduates specialising in shortage subjects receive a pound;5,000 "golden hello", but they also do not need to pay fees during the post-graduate certificate in education year.

Four-year students don't receive anywhere near this amount of financial support. I am one of many undergraduate students who feel that this lack of support is grossly unfair.

There is also a general feeling that theGovernment doesn't value this route into the profession, and is trying to do away with undergraduate courses.

This cannot be a good thing. The four-year course is an excellent way to enter the profession and provides an opportunity to undertake educational research, and study educational psychology PGCE students would never have the time for this work.

Education institutions throughout the country should be singing the praises of the four-year courses, rather than allowing them to become a thing of the past.

Mike Thain

St Luke's School of Education

University Of Exeter

Heavitree Road

Exeter, Devon

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